Taxpayers paying much higher costs for publicly funded projects
LANSING (June 6, 2018) – The state’s leading small business organization in Michigan, the NFIB, praised action by lawmakers today in voting to approve Initiated Legislation IL2, which would repeal Michigan’s outdated and wasteful Prevailing Wage Law. The citizen-initiated law was submitted to both the Senate and the House on June 1, after being certified by the State Board of Canvassers for having the required number of signatures.
The 252,523 signatures were collected by Protecting Michigan Taxpayers (PMT) the group that initiated the petition drive for a 2018 ballot proposal.
Under Michigan’s Constitution, when enough signatures are certified, the proposal is introduced into the state legislature as a proposed law. The state Senate and House had 40 days to act on the proposal. Today’s action makes the proposal law, so it will not be necessary for it to proceed to a statewide vote in November.
“Michigan’s antiquated prevailing wage law results in overcharging taxpayers on publicly funded construction projects by requiring that union-scale wages be paid regardless of whether a contractor has non-union employees,” said NFIB’s State Director in Michigan, Charlie Owens. “Estimates of the additional cost to taxpayers ranges from 10 to 15 percent on a project”.
Owens said that repealing 1965 law is an important step in assuring fair and open competition on publicly funded construction projects. “The state’s current prevailing wage law arbitrarily sets wages much higher than local construction wages determined by fair competition in the free market,” said Owens. “This law also discourages small business contractors from bidding on public projects because of union intimidation, which also drives up project costs.”
“The lawmakers that voted yes on this citizen-initiated law have shown leadership and courage. This is a protectionist labor union sacred cow that is cheating taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of dollars every year,” said Owens.
For more information contact:
Charlie Owens, NFIB’s Michigan State Director
Follow Charlie on Twitter @OwensNFIB